DETROIT (WWJ) – In the spirit of Christmas, a Detroit educator — diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at the age of 15 — is using his experience overcoming the deadly disease to help other young men find their purpose in life.

“So many people can be depressed or lonely over the holidays and think about the past, but I’m a witness that you can overcome the obstacle,” said acclaimed author Eddie Connor.

But it’s not just the holidays, but all year long that Eddie Connor spends time mentoring young men through his foundation, Boys 2 Books. He says he wants them to know that, no matter what obstacles they may face, they still can succeed.

“The two most important dates in your life are,” Connor says, “number one, the day that you were born. Secondly, the day that you realize why you were born. And that ‘why’ symbolizes purpose. Everybody has a purpose, everybody has a gift. The tragedy is to live to exist, but never to live.”

As the author of several books … Connor travels the world delivering straight talk with steps to help young people unlock their potential.

“There is a direct connection between literacy and incarceration, and they’re so interconnected, and so literacy has been a love of mine to really influence young males positively,” Connor said.

One of the young men that Connor has helped is 18-year-old Jordan Causey, a freshman student at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, who’s majoring in Journalism.

“I can give back to the community by helping other young black males get into reading and give them a more positive role model to look up to,” Causey said.

As for Connor, he takes his message to South Africa next year “walking in the spirit of the recently-departed Nelson Mandela,” he said.

Proceeds from Connor’s latest book “Unwrap The Gift In You!” benefit Boys 2 Books. Boys 2 Books is a 501(c)(3) non-profit literacy/mentorship program that equips and empowers youth via self-awareness, self-esteem and self-respect through personal development and community involvement.

For more information on Connor, click here. For more information on Boys 2 Books, click here.


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